The import game was very strong in 2016, even with the rise of the Yen to the Dollar imports remained a favorite in the toy collecting community. Things seem to be leveling out as far as the currency goes, and from what some of the conventions have shown us, 2017 will continue to impress. With import companies having major licenses such Marvel, Star Wars, DC, and other American favorites, fans should continue to be in for a sweet treat. Until then, here’s the best of 2016:
10.) S.H. Figuarts Episode IV Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker was released in September and offered the fans some Original Trilogy goodness to go along side the previously released Darth Vader and Episode VI Jedi Luke. The details were fantastic on this figure– they really nailed the likeness of Mark Hamill. I had previously rated this figure an 8.5 and after a few months on my shelf would up that rating.
9.) S.H. Figuarts Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was one of those gamble figures that just worked. It hit on all cylinders and made an amazing imprint on what these import companies can do with a human likeness. Words cannot describe what Freddie was and still is to music, and even though he has passed the music of the band Queen lives on in stadiums, karaoke bars, TV shows, movies, and much more. The use of the iconic yellow “Live at Wembley Stadium” jacket was spot on and added more flair to this icon!
8.) S.H. Figuarts Iron Man MK 46
Iron Man‘s armor has seen many renditions over the years. Between S.H. Figuarts, MAFEX, Figma, Comic Cave, and Revoltech, import companies have just about hit all the different versions possible. S.H. Figuarts continues to be my personal go-to just because they seem to just get it right on all aspects. This armor is from his look in Captain America: Civil War and was streamlined to the Nth degree. People said that this figure was very familiar to the Mark 45 armor but once you get the Mark 46 in your hand you will certainly see the differences are pretty clear.
7.) MAFEX Boba Fett-
Boba Fett was a very simple figure done just right. MAFEX is considered the newer kid on the block when it comes to the licenses they possess, and they are not making waves and waves of figures, but dropping a few here and there that look outstanding. This Boba Fett is based on his look in Episode VI and features details on the armor that you will find breathtaking. This figure is simple and very clean with only a few extra hands for different poses, and Boba’s signature sawed-off blaster… You really cannot ask for much more here.
6.) S.H. Figuarts Episode II Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan‘s release was strange to some as the Episode I figure came out only a few months prior. The likeness to Ewan McGreggor is uncanny, and shows how masterful the sculptors are at S.H. Figuarts. Bandai/Tamashii Nations have done an amazing job with the Star Wars license and with the looks at all the shows and conventions they are far from finished. I look forward to what we have in store for 2017.
5.) S.H. Figuarts Mace Windu
Mace Windu was one of those figures that didn’t get many positive responses when he was revealed. Upon release, those responses not only became positive, but fans raved about him. This had it all and then some– awesome sculpt, fantastic articulation, and a purple lightsaber. There were a few flaws with this figure, but even with the flaws Mace deserves to be top 5 material.
#4- Nendoroid Kirby
Kirby was my first ever Nendoroid and it has not been my last! This little guy changed my views on these chibi things. What made me fall in love with this figure was its simplicity and unlimited articulation, which came from magnets as a sheer genius design choice. This option gives you the opportunity to move the figure’s arms and feet just about anywhere on Kirby’s body.
#3- Sen-ti-nel Mega Man
Mega Man was another first time purchase from a new company for me. I have zero regrets, as this figure deserves top 3 treatment. The articulation is uncanny for a 4-inch figure, there are limitless posing possibilities, and with the addition of effect parts you can have a lot of fun. The detail on this figure was a total win as Mega-Man features a very clean and simple design. Sen-ti-nel worked hand in hand with Capcom to create this amazing masterpiece. Look for Mega Man X to release in 2017, and yes he is already on my pre-order list.
#2- Nendoroid Armored Batman
Batman was another impulse ‘let me see how this looks’ buy, and WOW am I glad that I did. There is nothing bad I can say about this little guy. You do not usually use words like adorable to describe Batman, but you just can’t help yourself with this figure. Two Batarangs, extra hands, a mini Batsignal and the metallic flake to the paint make this figure a most excellent addition to anyone’s collection. There is a Superman version that is just as adorable, which I am trying to secure to complete the BvS set. Nendoroids are not for everyone… however, in 2016 they made an impact on my collection.
#1 MAFEX Armored Batman
Armored Batman is another figure that has been done by many companies, however, MAFEX’s version stands out the most. There was something special about this guy… the cape, the detailed wash on his armor, the spikes on his boots, the Ben Affleck likeness in the chin, and the articulation all made me feel like this was the best. MAFEX had some quality control issues early on but with each release they’ve been getting better and better. I am looking forward to the Knightmare Batman that will come with the Kryptonite spear to add to this figure.
2016 was great, and there were so many runner-ups, that I could easily do another list. There were a few releases that I own that I did not review, great figures like SHF Tony Stark, Black Widow, and Black Panther, so did not include them.
I cannot wait to start the 2017 reviews… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!